World’s largest women’s patriotic service organization to gather in nation’s capital

  • WASHINGTON —2/22/13—Nearly 300 women representing the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) will convene in the nation’s capital Feb. 24-27 for the organization’s annual Washington DC Conference. The mid-year event provides an opportunity for the leadership of the organization to hear from Washington experts on issues relevant to the Auxiliary’s mission and to meet with Congressional representatives on key legislative priorities.

    “These days, only about 10% of American families have a veteran among them, making the role of the American Legion Auxiliary even more important to advocate for the needs of the veterans and their families,” said Mary “Dubbie” Buckler, ALA National Secretary/Executive Director. “Auxiliary members also encourage senators and congressmen to be mindful of the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters who have served right alongside our nation’s servicemembers, because policies affecting veterans and the military affect them too.”

    Representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Blue Star Families, Student Veterans Association, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, The American Legion’s Legislative Division and others are scheduled to address Auxiliary members at the conference.

    A joint legislative session will be held with The American Legion on Feb. 26, and American Legion Auxiliary members will meet with their senators and representatives on Capitol Hill to discuss the organization’s legislative priorities. The American Legion Family has been monitoring hot-button legislative issues including licensure and certification credentialing for veterans.

    A highlight of the Auxiliary’s Washington DC Conference is the presentation of the Public Spirit Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations for efforts that especially benefit the military, veterans and their families. Auxiliary National President Peggy Thomas will present the award to Bonnie Carroll of TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, at a special luncheon in Carroll’s honor on Feb. 25.

    Other activities include expert-led skill-building workshops for attendees as a way to extend Auxiliary mission outreach, as well as a ceremonial wreath laying at Arlington National Cemetery.

    Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization. With a membership of nearly 800,000, local American Legion Auxiliary units have a strong presence in more than 9,000 communities nationwide. The American Legion Auxiliary’s mission to serve veterans, the military and their families is carried out through its hundreds of outreach programs delivered by its members, volunteers and National Headquarters.

    Stacy Poca, (317) 569-4565;


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